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At first glance, the Shimano RS10s look really good. Semi-aero rims, oval-section spokes - just 16 (radial) in the front wheel, and 20 (2-cross) in the rear – and chunky hubs with a slightly larger flange in the rear wheel to take the straight-pull spokes. In fact they are a reasonably priced, nice riding, and reliable set of wheels and those looks can't hurt either, one thing they're not though is light.
Shimano’s official weight for the pair is 1848g, without skewers. On the scales in the road.cc lab we made them 1845g (791g front, 1054g rear). We’re splitting hairs, obviously. Either way, this is no featherweight pair of wheels.
There’s nothing wrong with heavier wheels, of course. These are an excellent choice if you’re an average sized rider and want something for commuting, training or winter riding that looks quite sexy. If you’re a heavier rider they might be a good choice if you want something stylish, but in my opinion bigger types would be better off with something with a few more spokes.
And that makes me wonder, if a few more spokes were added to the RS10s, could the rim be lighter, and therefore the whole wheel-set lighter overall? But then I reckon those clever folk at Shimano have thought of that, and have deliberately made the RS10s a reasonably priced pair of wheels that ain’t light but definitely look the biz.
It’s not just looks though. Quality is good too. The wheels give a nice solid ride. Not especially responsive, but not bad at all. I’ve done several hundred miles on them now, including a 200-mile charity ride from the Westcountry to London and back. The ride was on a wide range of surfaces - from smooth main roads, country lanes - and I hit some nasty pot-holes in the streets in the capital - and the wheels held up fine. They’re still totally true.
On the technical side, the straight-pull spokes are a major plus. By doing away with the bend or ‘elbow’ near the hub, it’s one less weak point. According to the Shimano website, the wheels have ‘angular contact bearings designed to cradle the balls giving both radial and lateral support for superior strength and durability’. The rear rim is asymmetric - an interesting innovation than basically means it’s a bit wider on the drive side - which is intended to make the wheel more rigid under pressure. There’s certainly very little flex when you throw the bike around a bit, going uphill out of the saddle.
Recommended retail price for the RS10s is about £175 per pair, but you can get them for £145-155, and even as low as £110 if you catch an on-line store clearing stock. This compares with wheels such as Mavic Aksiums (about 1900g per pair, usually priced around £170) or Fulcrum 7s (about 1930g, usually around £150).
Look out for RS10s in bike shops too; they’re supplied as standard with many complete bikes, but it’s not uncommon for customers to upgrade to something else, so the shop sells off the RS10s at a bargain price.
The RS10s are good quality entry-level wheel-set, reasonably priced, with some neat technological touches, that undeniably look very nice.
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Make and model: Shimano RS10 wheelset
Size tested: Silver
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
Age: 49 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,